The Red Lightning Bolt On Dash: How To Reset Or Fix It?

red lightning bolt on dash

The red lighting bolt on the dash belongs to one of several warnings displayed on the dashboard. It is also known as the red light of death. This warning sign will notify you of any problems with your Jeep’s electronic systems.

What happened when your Jeep showed the same error? Hold on! I may be wrong, but does your Jeep also show the same red lightning bolt? Let me assist you. I have a comprehensive guide on this issue, its symptoms, and its solution. To better understand the issue, its symptoms, and solutions, read the full article.

What is the red lightning bolt on my dash?

Red Lightmimg NBolt

The red lightning bolt signal indicates a possible problem with the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC). It uses a sensor-based system to measure your car’s input pressure and open the throttle based on that information.

Before the 1990s, the ETC system was not available in vehicles, so for that purpose, there’s a cable that connects the throttle to the gas pedal, and the opening of this part depends on the amount of pressure applied to the pedal. The drawback of this approach is that it consumes a lot of fuel, that’s why the ETC system has gained more popularity in modern cars.

What Is Electronic Control Throttle, ETC?

Electronic Throttle Control

Electronic throttle control is an innovation in automotive technology in which the accelerator pedal is electronically linked to the throttle in place of a mechanical linkage. Three major components make up an ETC system:

  • An accelerator pedal module, preferably with more than one independent sensor.
  • A throttle valve with an electric motor for opening and closing (also called an electric or electronic throttle body (ETB)).
  •  An engine control module (ECM) or powertrain control module (PCM).

Some Signs That the ETC Has Gone Bad

One of your dashboard’s most critical warning lights is the electrical fault light. When it flashes, it indicates a problem somewhere in your vehicle’s electrical system. 

Here are some signs that indicate that there’s some issue with the electric throttle control.

  • There’s no engine response when you are accelerating the paddle.
  • There was an inconsistency in the Jeep’s speed.
  • There needs to be a better response from the engine when it comes to acceleration.
  • Your cylinder remains unfired due to a malfunctioning combustion reaction; as a result engine misfires.
  • Vehicle fuel economy becomes less.
  • You will face difficulty when starting the engine.
  • The engine will run rough while idling.
  • The engine becomes idle at high speed.
  • Black smoke from the exhaust can also be a sign of malfunctioning ETC.

What causes a red lightning bolt?

Faulty throttle control sensors cause the dashboard’s red lightning bolts. The red light may also illuminate if the throttle body is dirty or if there’s any loose or broken connection with the electric system.

A Red Lightning Bolt indicates that the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) module may be malfunctioning. This could include:

  • In the ETS system, an open circuit exists between two components can be a reason for this issue.
  • A communication issue with the engine control module, or ECM, results in a slow engine speed or a faulty throttle opening.
  • One of the sensor inputs on the TPS signal wire has a short circuit involving both high-voltage circuits. A Red Lightning bolt might also indicate problems with your Jeep’s dashboard display screen, such as lines or inability to read it.

How to reset the red lightning bolt on the dash?

Here is the step-by-step guide to rest the red lightning bolt on the dash.

  • Turn the ignition ON but don’t start the engine.
  • After about five seconds, press the gas accelerator pedal at the bottom.
  • Next, slowly release the gas pedal until it reaches its maximum position
  • Switch OFF the ignition. 
  • Fire up the engine and start driving to check whether the light goes off or not.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the process, then simply disconnect the battery and wait for five minutes, then plug it in again and check if the issue has been resolved.

If the red lightning bolt is still there, then the other thing you can do is decode the error. Once you find the error, decide whether to fix it, or you want to replace the faulty part or sensor or call the mechanic. You can also do throttle body cleaning to resolve this issue.

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If your Jeep has the red lightning bolt on the dash, then there is supposed to be a problem with the engine throttle body or faulty sensors, so there’s no need to panic. You can determine this issue if your Jeep is not able to maintain a constant speed, is blowing black engine smoke, rough idling, has difficulty in engine starting, etc. Then it must be a throttle body issue or sensor issue. 

Decode the error if possible and then replace or fix the malfunctioning part. If it is unfamiliar to you, then you can contact the mechanic.

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